Why Are Montessori Toys Wooden?

Posted on October 5th, 2023.

If you've ever stumbled upon the fascinating world of Montessori education, you might have noticed a recurring theme – wooden toys. But what exactly are Montessori toys, and why are they predominantly crafted from wood?

In this blog post, we'll delve into the realm of Montessori education, explore the concept of wooden toys in Montessori, and discuss whether wooden toys truly outshine their plastic counterparts.

What Are Montessori Toys?

Montessori toys are a fundamental component of the Montessori educational approach. These toys are carefully designed to encourage independent learning and exploration in children. They are typically characterised by simplicity, durability, and a focus on sensory experiences. But why the emphasis on wooden materials?

The Montessori Philosophy

The Montessori educational philosophy, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 20th century, is rooted in the idea that children are natural learners. In a Montessori classroom, children are given the freedom to choose their activities and learn at their own pace. This philosophy also extends to the toys they use.

Wooden toys align perfectly with the Montessori philosophy. They are often free from distracting lights, sounds, and complex mechanisms that can overwhelm a child's senses. Instead, they allow children to engage in open-ended play, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.

Benefits of wooden toys include:

The Sensory Appeal of Wooden Toys

One of the key reasons why Montessori toys are made from wood is the sensory experience they provide. Wood has a unique tactile quality that engages a child's sense of touch. The warmth, texture, and weight of wooden toys are inviting and encourage exploration.

Wooden toys also have a subtle, earthy scent that can further stimulate a child's olfactory senses, adding to the overall sensory experience. Plastic toys, on the other hand, lack this sensory richness and may be less engaging in this aspect.

Durability and Sustainability

Another significant advantage of wooden toys in the Montessori classroom is their durability. They are built to last, even through years of enthusiastic play. This longevity not only makes them cost-effective but also promotes sustainability by reducing the need for frequent replacements.

In contrast, plastic toys are often less robust and may break or wear out more quickly. This can lead to more waste in landfills, contributing to environmental concerns.

Safety and Health Considerations

The safety of children is paramount, and wooden toys have an edge in this regard as well. High-quality wooden toys are typically finished with non-toxic paints or natural oils, ensuring that they are safe for little ones to put in their mouths. This peace of mind is especially important for parents and caregivers.

Plastic toys, on the other hand, may contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates or BPA, which have raised concerns about their impact on children's health. Choosing wooden toys can help mitigate these concerns.

Encouraging Imagination and Creativity

Wooden toys often have a simple, minimalist design that leaves room for a child's imagination to flourish. Unlike many plastic toys that come with predetermined functions or electronic features, wooden toys allow children to invent their own narratives and uses.

By fostering imaginative play, wooden toys support the development of creative thinking and problem-solving skills, a key aspect of the Montessori approach.


It's clear that wooden toys have a special place in Montessori education, thanks to their alignment with the philosophy of independence, sensory exploration, and sustainability.

So, if you're considering Montessori wooden toys for your child or classroom, look no further than Oakley Wood Craft. Our range of handcrafted wooden toys is designed to ignite your child's imagination and support their development. Explore our collection today at Oakley Wood Craft and take a step towards providing your child with the best in Montessori-inspired play.

Feel free to reach out to us at 7368608053 or via email at [email protected] for any inquiries or assistance. We're here to help you make the right choice for your child's education and playtime.

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